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Need to Know: Redskins on a good streak in win and in games

Need to Know: Redskins on a good streak in win and in games

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 27, five days before the Washington Redskins host the New York Giants.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No availability

Days until: Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 5; Wild card playoff round starts 11; Division playoff round start 18

Injuries of note:
S Whitner (quad), C Long (ankle), CB Dunbar (concussion), TE Reed (shoulder), WR Jackson (jaw), RB Kelley (knee), LB Cravens (upper arm)
Gruden Monday injury report

Ramping up for Redskins vs Giants

—Since 1999 the Redskins have had five games where a win would put them in the playoffs in Week 16 or Week 17. They are 5-0 in those games. After the Lions loss last night, the Redskins will get a chance for a sixth-straight win to get in.

—I’ll go into a little more depth about the Giants tomorrow but a couple of things jump out. They are minus-five in turnovers; no other team with a winning record is worse than minus-one. On the season the Giants have committed 27 turnovers, eight in their last three games. A Redskins team that just picked off five passes is going to be looking for errant passes from Eli Manning, who has the third worst interception percentage among qualifying quarterbacks who haven’t been benched.

—The Giants haven’t been able to get much traction in the rushing game, ranking 29th in yards, 30th in average per attempt, and dead last in rushing touchdowns. Eli to wide receivers Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard accounts for just under 40 percent of New York’s offense.

—For a long while this year it looked like no Redskin would go over 1000 yards receiving for the season. Now, two receivers have a very good chance. DeSean Jackson has 971 yards so he is just one Kirk Cousins rifle shot deep down the middle from going over 1000. Pierre Garçon has 945 yards; he has not had fewer than 55 yards in any of his last four games. The Redskins have not had two receivers go over 1000 in the same season since Albert Connell and Michael Westbrook did it in 1999.

—You probably already know this but here are some numbers to back it up. The Redskins are the worst team in the NFL on third and long. On third and 10 yards or more the league converts at a 21.2 percent clip. The Redskins’ opponents have converted at a 35.2 percent rate. The only surprising thing about these stats, via the indispensable Pro Football Reference, is that the Redskins actually do stop teams on third and long nearly 65 percent of the time.

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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